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Capt William F Russell's Official Report

Report of December 10, 1862 for operations in 1862

[author biography]

Camp, near Falmouth, Va., Dec. 10, 1862.

Adjutant General State of Minnesota,

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your application for a report of the past history and present condition of "Company L, First Regiment U. S. Sharpshooters," and respectfully submit the following hastily prepared statement:

With my command numbering 98 enlisted men, all tested marksmen, and two lieutenants, I left St. Paul, Minn., on April 21st, 1862, for the field of active service. At Washington I received orders to report to Major General McClellan. By order of Major General McClellan I joined the First Regiment U. S. Sharpshooters under command of Col. Hiram Berdan, at Yorktown, Va., May 6th, 1862, and marched up the Peninsula with this regiment, forming part of General Porter's corps. On May 22d an order was issued by Major General McClellan (Special Order No. 153), directing me to report with my command to Brigadier General Sedgwick, "to be assigned to duty with the First Minnesota Volunteers." This order I did not receive until the 30th of May, the battle of Hanover Court-House taking place in the meantime, on the 27th, and in which my company took part. On the morning of June 1st, 1862, I reported with my command on the battle-field of Fair Oaks during the heat of the engagement, to Brigadier General Gorman, of whose brigade the First Minnesota Volunteers formed a part, and was immediately given a position in advance of our line of battle, as skirmishers. From that day to the present time my company has continued on duty with the First Minnesota Volunteers, sharing with them all the dangers, trials and privations of the terrible campaign on the Peninsula against Richmond, and the more successful one in Maryland, against an invading army of rebels.

The battles, actions, etc., in which my command has been engaged, are as follows, viz.:

  1. Battle of Hanover Court-House, Va., May 27th, 1862.
  2. Battle of Fair Oaks, near Richmond, Va., Jnne 1st, 1862.
  3. Siege of Richmond, month of June, 1862.
  4. Battle of Peach Orchard, near Richmond, Va., June 29th, 1862.
  5. Battle of Savage Station, near Richmond, Va., June 29th, 1882.
  6. Battle of White Oak Swamp, near Richmond, Va., June 30th, 1862.
  7. Battle of Nelson's Farm, near Richmond, Va., June 30th, 1862.
  8. Battle of Malvern Hill, near Richmond, Va., July 1st, 1862.
  9. Reconnaissance to Malvern Hill, Aug. 4th, 1862.
  10. Reconnaissance from Charlestown, Va., Sept. 1st, 1862.
  11. Repulse of enemy near Fairfax, Va., on retreat from Centreville, Sept 2d, 1862.
  12. Affair near Vienna, Va., on retreat from Centreville, Va., Sept. 2d, 1862.
  13. Battle of South Mountain, Md., Sept. 14th, 1862.
  14. Batttle of Antietam, Md., Sept. 17th, 1862.
  15. Reconnaissance from Harper's Ferry to Charlestown, Va. , Oct, 16th, 1862.

Twenty-five men have been wounded in these several battles, as follows:
In the battle of Hanover Court-House:

In battle of Fair Oaks:

  • Private Christen J. Lind, right hand. Since discharged.
  • In affair near Vienna, Ya.:

    In Battle of Antietam:

    Enlisted men present on duty .............................. 29
    Enlisted men absent, wounded ..................... 18
    Enlisted men absent, sick .............................. 13
    Enlisted men absent without leave ................ 7
    Enlisted men absent, exchanged prisoners .... 3 - 41
    Whole number now forming company ................. 70

    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    Captain, Com'd'g Company.

    Source: Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars.1


    1   State of Minnesota, Board of Commissioners, Minnesota in the Civil War and Indian Wars 1861-1865, 2 volumes, St. Paul: Pioneer Press Company, 1890-93, Vol. 2, pp. 132-134  [AotW citation 21302]


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